Learn more about specific causes in Federated States of Micronesia that you can get involved in.
EnvironmentThe largest environmental concerns that Micronesia faces are overfishing, climate change, and pollution.1 As a nation composed of islands, Micronesia faces a unique set of maritime and coastal environmental concerns. While data on environmental issues is limited, it has been noted that industrial and agricultural pollution have had detrimental effects on the Micronesian environment.2 The exploitation of the nation’s resources cause economic issues and also put the health of the citizens at risk.3
FamilyDomestic abuse and child abuse are frequently cited as concerns facing families in Micronesia, but reliable data is difficult to come by. It is believed that such crimes are widely underreported and that little official investigation into such crimes has occurred.1 There are very high levels of domestic violence reported on the islands of Micronesia, most notably in the State of Yap. At the last survey conducted, it was reported that 76% of Micronesian women had experienced some form of physical domestic abuse. The societal issue of domestic abuse has yet to be confronted with any national legislation that would address the issue.2 One of the main difficulties in fighting domestic abuse is the fact that family or community “honor” or reputation comes before the Read More safety of the children. There are also no laws about child labor.3 Show Less
Human RightsThe largest human rights concerns in Micronesia stem from corruption and limited enforcement of the law. There is a substantial lack of transparency in the government and no legal requirements to disclose important government procedures, such as income and asset reports from public officials. Furthermore, despite legislation prohibiting discrimination, women continue to face discrimination within society.1 Cultural ideas about leadership and high-ranking roles prevent women from being elected to high offices. Women are well represented in the lower ranks of the government. The outdated laws regarding rape and domestic violence give minor prison sentences for egregious crimes; the maximum sentence for assault without a weapon or serious physical harm is five years, and if those factors are involved the maximum sentencing is only ten years Read More imprisonment.2 Show Less
EducationThe education system of Micronesia faces substantial challenges due to the geographic dispersion of educational facilities and resource shortages. The lack of qualified teachers is a pressing problem that threatens the quality of education that students receive.1 Education is compulsory from ages 6 to 13, and students may choose to leave school prior to receiving secondary schooling, which is typically reserved for students 14-17. Public schooling is free.2 The literacy rate in Micronesia is 89%.3
PovertyPoverty is a widespread problem in the Federated States of Micronesia. Currently, 27% of the total population lives below the international poverty line and the unemployment rate is at 16%. The government relies heavily on support from the United States to provide support for various groups in society, such as rural farmers on outlying islands.1 Poverty also contributes to significant malnutrition. According to WHO, 20% of pregnant women are anemic from malnutrition leading into childbirth.2
ReligionThe constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia officially upholds religious freedom and protects it. There have been no reports of government-based or societal discrimination against those who practice different religious beliefs. The country is mostly divided between Catholic and Protestant denominations of Christianity.1 The religious makeup of the country is 54% Roman Catholic, 41% Protestant, 1.5% Mormon, and 1.9% other.2
Clean WaterRoughly 89% of the total population has sustainable access to clean water sources. Discrepancies exist between regions, however, as 94.8% of urban populations have access to improved water sources while only 87.4% of rural populations have access to improved water sources. The need for sanitation facilities is higher, as only 57.2% of the population has access to them.1 Some islands struggle with the pollution created by abandoned structures that pollute the nearby rivers and waterways as they decay. One example of this is an old religious trade school that was responsible for the spread of many waterborne illnesses on the island of Pohnpei.2
EconomyMicronesia’s economy and the major sectors of farming, fishing, and civil service are supported by financial assistance from the United States government. The private sector is very small and runs the risk of stagnating potential economic growth in the future when economic assistance from the United States ends.The unemployment rate is at 16%, and 27% of the population lives below the poverty line.1 The islands have very few exports and the economy is very dependent on the minimal commercial sector, as well as on foreign aid. Additionally, the cost of business on the islands is extremely elevated due to the remote geographical location.2
GovernmentGovernment, Micronesia The Federated States of Micronesia suffers from pervasive corruption, inconsistent enforcement of laws, and contradictory legal codes. As a direct result of the sprawling geographical nature of the over 600 islands in the Pacific Ocean, uniform application of laws and legal codes is a significant challenge. Poor infrastructure and regional variation pose a threat to the long-term viability of a single government.1 There are four regions that make up the country: Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap.The government is currently relying heavily on foreign aid and developmental assistance, and country is not taking the necessary steps to fix governmental issues independently.2
HealthHealthcare in Micronesia is crippled by the overwhelming lack of medical resources. Micronesia previously relied on medical professionals from the United States to provide care for its citizens, although there has recently been a transition to local doctors. Both communicable disease and non-communicable disease rates have risen over the past five years. The health system is further undermined by the lack of sufficient and credible data surrounding the health issues of its citizens.1 The maternal mortality rates are 100 deaths per 100,000 live births, and infant mortality is 20 deaths per 1,000 live births. 46% of the adult Micronesian population is obese.2
ChildrenMicronesia has varying pieces of legislation that define who is considered a minor and their exac. Since Micronesia is comprised of hundreds of small islands, uniform legislation and protection of children’s rights are difficult to enforce.1 UNICEF suggests that one way the Micronesian government could improve the living conditions of children who are being abused is by constructing separate housing for abused children and developing a foster care system.2
AnimalsThe Oceania ecoregion in which Micronesia exists is home to lots of open savanna and tropical dry forests. The local species are threatened by human invasion. There are a variety of local tree species such as the coconut palm, banana, cassava, and papaya trees. There are a couple endemic bird species, but it is unsure whether these species are native to the islands or were brought in during European settlement. Threats to these species include loss of habitat from fires set by humans during the dry season and invasive foreign species such as the brown tree snake.1
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